Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms

April 29, 2021 1:00pm to 3:00pm

The Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms (HCBs) training reviews key information found in the ITRC Guidance Document, Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms.

Cyanobacteria are microscopic, photosynthetic organisms that occur naturally in all aquatic systems but most often in freshwater systems. Under certain conditions, cyanobacteria can multiply and become very abundant, discoloring the water throughout a water body or accumulating at the surface. These occurrences are known as blooms. Cyanobacteria may produce potent toxins (cyanotoxins) that pose a threat to human health. They can also harm wildlife and domestic animals, aquatic ecosystems, and local economies by disrupting drinking water systems and source waters, recreational uses, commercial and recreational fishing, and property values. It is likely that continued population growth, land use change, increases in nutrient inputs to our waterways, and the warming climate will favor proliferation of these problematic species. Providing a range of practical approaches to minimize these blooms and their likely societal and wildlife effects is critical to our future vitality, health, and economic prosperity.

The Harmful Cyanobacteria Bloom training provides an overview of cyanobacteria and their management, covering five sections from the ITRC guidance document:

  • Introduction to the Cyanobacteria (Section 3)
  • Monitoring (Section 4)
  • Communication and Response Planning (Section 5)
  • Management and Control (Section 6)
  • Nutrient Management (Section 7)

After the five-part Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms training, you should understand:

  • The basic ecology and physiology of cyanobacteria, and the harmful effects they have on health, the environment, and local economies
  • Common approaches to monitoring for cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins, and how to build a monitoring program
  • The importance of good communication and coordinated response during cyanobacteria blooms, and the elements of a good response plan
  • Available options for in-lake management and control of cyanobacteria blooms
  • Nutrient management options to reduce the likelihood of cyanobacteria blooms in your water body

We encourage you to use the ITRC HCB Resources (HCB-1) and the recorded training to learn about cyanobacteria, monitoring approaches, management of active blooms, and prevention of blooms in the future. For regulators and other government agency staff, these materials present the current state of the science on cyanobacteria and approaches to manage and reduce the occurrence of blooms. We share examples and resources from across the country that can help you develop approaches of your own. While the training makes every effort to keep the information accessible to a wide audience, it is assumed that the participants will have some basic technical understanding of biology, lake management, chemistry, and environmental sciences. As with other emerging concerns, our understanding of harmful cyanobacteria blooms continues to advance. These trainings help you build cyanobacteria response plans now and point you to resources that will keep you up to date in the future.

For more information and to register for this event, click here

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